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The Blood Gulch Chronicles (Seasons 1-5)
- The sixth episode of the series, where Tucker mistakenly thinks he's time-traveled into the past, is titled "1.21 Giga-Whats??".
- As Sheila dies for the first time in "After Church," she goes full HAL-9000: "I'm scared, Dave. Will I dream? Daisy, Daaaaaiiiisssyyyy..."
- "Robot Number 2" 'speaks' in the famous five-tone melody from Close Encounters of the Third Kind before a "QUACK!"
- Grif's first few lines in "We Must Rebuild" are directly quoted from the famous ending to Planet Of The Apes.
- After O'Malley brags about having great experience in "training stooges," Lopez's laugh is "Nyuk, nyuk" in "We're Being Watched."
- Andy the Bomb is more or less one of the Talking Bombs from Starship Troopers.
- It's likely just a coincidence, but when Blue Team is trying to prevent Andy from detonating in "Defusing the Situation," Caboose tells Andy to picture a field where "there are some sheep near by... and not the kind that blow up!"
- Church brags about feeling like a Jedi when using Tucker's Laser Blade within Caboose's mind in "Why Were We Here?".
The Recollection Trilogy (Seasons 6-8)
- In Chapter 15 of Reconstruction, Grif says that his mission clock is actually a countdown to the next episode of Battlestar Galactica.
- When Simmons is trying to figure out how to hack the database to delete the Blue Team roster at Freelancer Command in Chapter 17 of Reconstruction, Grif tries to offer help by claiming "I find viruses featuring a laughing skull tend to work the best."
- During the "Relocated" miniseries, Sarge references The Matrix when referring to the Virtual Training Simulation room and how Your Mind Makes It Real within the room's confines. Lopez quickly follows it up with a Take That!, though:Lopez: Right, but without all the Eastern philosophy stuff that no one understands.
- When Doc gets stuck in the wall of Blue Base, he looks like Han Solo frozen in carbonite.
- When Caboose convinces the Sangheili at Sandtrap that the Reds have taken Church in "Fourth and Twenty," Sarge responds with a worried "Ruh-Roh."
- "This One Goes To Eleven" involves a fight in a seemingly abandoned test facility overseen by a potentially evil female computer, featuring linked teleporters flinging people around the room.
- In "Snooze Button," Doc's shout echoes one of another surprised doctor.
- The opening to "Reunion" seems very similar to one of the Halo 3 trailers or Modern Warfare 2.
The Project Freelancer Saga (Seasons 9 & 10)
- When the Epsilon iterations of Tucker and Church are trying to make up names for a fake fallen comrade, the first two they come up with are "Smith" and "Anderson." And lo, the Andersmith Running Gag was born!
- Washington saying "That's a good look" when Maine picks up the Brute Shot seems reminiscent of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, when John Connor says "That's definitely you" as the Terminator picks up the minigun.
- Epsilon!Sarge's plan to stop the earthquakes is almost exactly like the one from The Core.
- In "Fall From Heaven," 479er is clearly channeling Han Solo in how she orders around her crew.479: No, no. That one goes there, this one goes here.
- "Party Crasher" has a few to Star Wars:
- Tex asking York for a big distraction has him respond with a very Han Solo-esque, "Relax, it's me."
- The Mother of Invention crashing on Sidewinder is very reminiscent of the opening of Revenge of the Sith.
- During Epsilon and Carolina's initial fight against the Tex Drones:Epsilon: Sorry, Carolina, but seeing this many ex-girlfriends in one room kinda has me terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.
The Chorus Trilogy (Seasons 11-13)
- As noted on the Chorus Trilogy's own page, the finale of Season 11 and first third of Season 12 initially seems to be setting up a Whole Plot Reference to Star Wars, but this is quickly subverted in Episodes 8, 9, and 10.
- In "A Real Fixer Upper," Simmons tells Grif he needs to construct additional pylons.
- When Caboose is fixing Freckles up in "S.O.S.", he begins joyfully shouting "It's alive! It's alive!"
- Andersmith's full name, John-Elizabeth Andersmith, is a reference to The Producers, where it's said that Hitler's middle name is Elizabeth.
- When Grif is freaking out in "Reflection" over how he's been unknowingly channeling Sarge in how he's been treating the Lieutenants (as pointed out by Simmons), he shouts "That's not true! That's impossible!" before letting out a Big "NO!".
- According to Felix when talking about how he was hired to help wipe out the human colonists of Chorus, he claims that if he had his way, he'd just "nuke the whole planet from orbit just to be sure."
- When Red Team is searching the wreck of the Hand of Merope during "Crash Site Crashers," Sarge calls Donut "Princess Bubblegum" as they're hacking the ship's database.
- Locus' Badass Boast in "Multiple Choice" when giving the Reds and Blues a one-time trip off of Chorus is very reminiscent of Taken.
- According to Miles Luna, Locus and Felix taking the Tartarus in "Prologue" was heavily inspired by the Joker's heist in The Dark Knight.
- After defeating a band of Space Pirates in "Capital Assets," Tucker moonwalks while singing "Another One Bites The Dust."
- When painting his new helmet, Sharkface tells the Counselor (who is watching in the background) that "You can't rush art."
- Season 13, Episode 8 is titled "Test Your Might."
- Bitters calls Locus a "Predator knockoff" when he and Andersmith are driving off the mercenary in "Dish Best Served."
- Felix gives Sharkface the nickname of "Freddy Krueger" in "Temple of the Key."
- When the Reds and Blues are trying to think of ways to make Kimball and Doyle bury the hatchet "The Thin Fed Line" (whose title is already a Shout-Out), Grif uses Insane Troll Logic to justify pulling an idea from Friends.
- When the Reds and Blues are searching for the MANTIS control panel on the Staff of Charon and O'Malley stays back to Hold the Line for them, he tells them (complete with a vaguely British accent) "Fly, you fools."
- A rather transparent one: Episode 3 is called "Fifty Shades of Red".
- Again with Episode 6, entitled "Orange is the New Red".
- In "The Brick Gulch Chronicles," Simmons insists multiple times that various threats to him, Grif, and Church have "vision based on movement."
- Word of God, Cherry's habit for Malapropers and misunderstanding people's vocal commands is meant to be an allusion to Siri. According to
- In the Sarge trailer, Sarge's "Rent in Hell" one-liner is re-purposed into a Rousing Speech that is clearly inspired by the "Tonight, we dine in Hell!" speech in 300.
- The title of Episode 13 is a joke on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- In Episode 22, Sherry's introductions ("My name's Sherry, this is my partner Darryl, this is my other partner Terrill") reference a line from Newhart: "Hi, I'm Larry. This is my brother, Darryl. This is my other brother, Darryl."
It's worthy noting that even for a season of RvB, this season's pretty Reference Overdosed.
- While on Sidewinder investigating the crashed remains of the Mother of Invention, Jax says to Dylan that the first of them to suffer frostbite should "get stuffed inside of a tauntaun".
- The final scene of episode 4 has Dylan climbing up a mountain overlooking a sea, before holding her recorder out towards the figure she's been searching for. It's framed to resemble what Rey does with her lightsaber in the last scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
- Additionally, when he gets shot in the butt earlier in the same episode, Jax says "Rosebud..." before he passes out.
- When the Lieutenants are investigating Jax's shooting, Andersmith is clearly trying to act like he's the protagonist of a Law & Order episode (complete with saying the "CHUNG-CHUNG" sound effect outloud). Bitters is disgusted by this, and boasts "CSI: Miami for life" before being set up for a classic Caruso-esque Quip to Black.
- Just from "Previously On" we have...
Carolina: (dead serious) Help me, Grif. Help me be the best at being lazy.Grif: (in a wise and mysterious tone) You're not ready yet, padawan.Carolina: I can try!Grif: No. There is no try.
- When she's trying to learn how to be "the best at being lazy," Carolina goes to Grif and tries to learn from him in a similar way to Luke trying to learn how to be a Jedi from Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back.
- Apparently, Iris (the isolated moon that the Reds and Blues decided to retire on) was inhabited by dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts.
- Caboose got trapped in the Upside-Down from Stranger Things at one point.
- Grif was able to convince Simmons that Game of Thrones really happened.
- Grif and Tucker repeatedly argue over the possible names for their band, which include "The Blue Fighters," "The Grateful Reds," "The Blue Goo Dolls," "Redmau5," "Motley Blue," "The Talking Reds," "The Red Kennedys," "Blue Tang Clan," and "Red Zeppelin."
- Church's supposed distress call looks very similar to that sent by Princess Leia in A New Hope.
- When Grif is explaining why he's not going with the rest of the Reds and Blues on their supposed hunt for Church in "Reacts", he tells Caboose that "He's died more times than Jean Grey."
- An insane amount from Sarge in "Belly of the Beast," when Jax is distracting him so that Dylan can find out what is going on.
- Episode 15's opening sequence with Lopez's monologuing head flying through space is a huge parody of the opening credits to Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Grif's "failed" attempt at a rescue mission is full of references to Metal Gear Solid, with one of his lines being "This is Snake to Big Boss! No signs of surveillance!" An exclamation point even appears over his head when he's alerted to a fish dinner nearby.
- Church's unedited call to Command has him claiming that the grenade Tucker and Caboose threw down the toilet ruined their base's plumbing, and "it's coming out of the goddamn walls!".
- When trying to figure out the Blues and Reds' plan to invade Earth and destroy the UNSC's new HQ, Carolina directly quotes The Honor of the Queen - "The best swordsman does not fear the second best, he fears the worst since there's no telling what that idiot is going to do." The original quote is in and of itself already a Shout-Out to Mark Twain.
- After the Reds and Blues' ship crash-lands in "Red vs Red" due to getting hit by the Blues and Reds' missiles, Jax claims that Grif should've said that he was "a leaf on the wind."
- In the same episode, Tucker kicks Lorenzo's head off into the sky, with the latter shouting "Vendetta!" before disappearing with a flash of light and a slight ding. This a reference to the "We're blasting off again!" gag concerning Team Rocket in Pokémon.
- When panicking over the calculations made about the time machine-laser drill, Dr. Johanson compares it to "Ark of the Covenant shit" and "God magic."
- When Loco activates his time machine-laser drill in "Blue vs Blue," he exclaims that "the resonance cascade is growing!"
The Shisno Paradox (Season 16)
This season noticeably has many fewer references than Season 15 before it did, but there's still plenty.
- The animated sequence showing Muggins flying back to Starseeds in "The Shisno" resembles both the opening credits sequence to Men In Black 2 and the "Pure Imagination" sequence in Thor: Ragnarok.
- Relatedly, Kalirama's arrival on Earth in "Incendiary Incidents" is heavily reminiscent of Hela arriving in Norway in the latter-mentioned film.
- Huggins and Muggins are both designed to resemble Tinkerbell (the former significantly more so than the latter) in terms of being "sentient lens flares."
- Episode 4 is titled "Sis and Tuc's Sexcellent Adventure."
- When Muggins encounters a very drunk Kaikaina and Tucker in "A Pizza The Action," the former calls him "J. J. Abrams" and asks "if he should be in a reboot."
- When Tucker sees a spare suit of armor on Iris during "It Just Winked At Me," he shouts "Idea!" like in Hot Fuzz.
- Grif tries to pass Die Hard as his own story. It doesn't work, as Huggins has seen the movie - her uncle had even played a spotlight!
- In "Walk and Talk," when Jax is discussing the metaphysics of time travel with Wash, Carolina, Sarge, and Simmons, he tries to sum it all up as three different types with appropriate examples from movies - The "Closed Loop Theory" (La Jetée, Primer, and The Terminator), the "Alternate Reality Theory" (Star Trek (2009)), and the "Flexible Timeline Theory" (Back to the Future).
- Most of Jax Jonez's increasingly insane behavior during the production of his Red vs. Blue movie is clearly meant as a Homage to the (in)famous behavior of Stanley Kubrick and Michael Cimino (the latter of Heaven's Gate infamy).
- During Donut and O'Malley's fight across time and space in "Paradox," the time gun is weaponized to be reminiscent of the the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device.
Singularity (Season 17)
- The name of the first episode of the season is A Sitch in Time. Amusingly, Jason Weight has claimed that the names being the same is a massive coincidence.
- In "Everwhen," Sarge claims that the titular "soft-time" anomaly sounds like "a Neil Gaiman novel." Meanwhile, Simmons compares it to "a Pearl Jam album" (which is also a Mythology Gag to Jason Weight claiming that was the reason why he decided not to use "Everwhen" as Season 17's title).
- There's also a hilariously subtle example within the same episode - Namely, when Sarge is telling Donut to shut up during the latter's last attempt at explaining the Everwhen, Sarge is singing the phrase "Shut up!" to the tune of "Blue Skidoo".
- The depiction of Wash as a Paradox Person in "Schrödingin'" is similar to the "out of sync" individuals seen in BioShock Infinite.
- Speaking of "Schrödingin'", the episode is (obviously) named after the famous Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment.
- Wash winds up channeling a certain dog when he sums up the situation he is currently in at the start of "The Not-So-Good Ol' Days":Wash: Up there is the body of your old pal, York, surrounded by a bunch of other bodies, and one son of a bitch pretending to be a body so he can turn you into a body... And that's fine, this is fine. No, dammit, this is not fine!
- When trying to decide on what points in time to mess up, Genkins dismisses several moments as "Too fast, too furious."
- As detailed in Freeze-Frame Bonus on the page for this season, "Finally" has a link to a hidden deleted scene on YouTube where the Blues' erasure during Reconstruction happens physically Thanos-style.
- The initial illusion crafted for Sarge by the Labyrinth in "Omphalos" is similar to that of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but it quickly morphs into a Halo version of the famous Normandy landings as depicted in Saving Private Ryan.
- In Griff's Labyrinth-fueled illusion, Coach Prestwood shoots at Griff's feet, screaming "BANG! BANG! BANG!" loudly in a very familiar tone. The reference is even more obvious considering he was holding a magnum.
- The title of the final episode of the season - "Theogeny" - is an intentionally misnamed version of "theogony," the term used for the birth and origins of the ancient Greek gods. Relatedly, the season's penultimate episode ("Omphalos") is named after the supposed "center of the world" where the Oracle of Delphi lived.
Public Service Announcements and Other Videos
- During an early PSA on tattoos, Church suggests that if the viewer does get one, it should of "your favorite character from your favorite online cartoon". It then shows a picture of Strong Bad. Church then grumbles "I meant your other favorite online cartoon", which then shows Gabe and Tycho.
- The "Grifball" PSA claims that the titular sport is managed by "The American Grifball League of America."
- During the "Getting Away From It All" PSA, Caboose tells Sarge that he always wanted bunk-beds, just like Weiss Schnee.
- According to Wash in the "Hard Truths" PSA, Sarge's suggestions that he gave him for improving the series were all episodes of Happy Days with Sarge in the role of the Fonz. Additionally, Grif mentions during the "friend-tervention" of Sarge that he feels an appropriate punishment for Sarge would be "Like a thousand years of Groundhog Day, but for a looping period of 20 seconds."
- A PSA promoting RTX 2018 features Carolina fangirling over Troy Baker as Revolver Ocelot.
- Four Simmons start the first verse of Kelis' infamous "Milkshake" song, much to Grif's sheer horror in the "Diversity" PSA, with the Simmonses being cut off at "and they're like-". Additionally, Sarge starts to cheerily sing "The Circle of Life" during the same PSA when he's attacking the other Reds and Blues with a mounted turret. Finally, the PSA also has a Running Gag of Caboose looking for his pet chinchilla, who he named after Benedict Cumberbatch.
- In the Long List of new holidays that Simmons is shilling products for during the "New Holidays" PSA, Groundhog Day is repeated three times. Also, one of the new holidays is simply called "Kevin".
- Sarge slips into a traumatic flashback after looking at a painting depicting the fall of Icarus during the "Cultural Appreciation" PSA.
- The new house Grif moves into during the "Moving Out" PSA has what, at first glance, looks like a glass-bottom swimming pool. Only here, it turns out the pool doesn't even have a bottom.
- The "Cyber Insecurities" PSA has Simmons mention him having written Firefly FanFic titled "Yes, Serenity!".
- During the "Snowed In" PSA, Simmons leads the Blues and Doc in playing "Canyons and Cockbites" so as to stave off Cabin Fever. Additionally, Simmons' character in the game is described as being "an Orc Dragonborn Barbarian Wizard."